When it comes to the NFL draft, the importance of college wins ranks somewhere between 40-yard dash time and Wondleric score.
And when those wins came on a blue field, they become even less significant.
That’s what Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore learned the hard way over the weekend when he waited out all seven rounds of the NFL draft without hearing his named called. Moore’s phone did eventually ring — long after “Mr. Irrelevant” was selected to signal the end of the seventh and final round — and he has agreed to a free-agent contract with the Detroit Lions.
But after Moore won a Football Bowl Subdivision record 50 games for the Broncos, the waiting game was a difficult one.
“Very frustrating process, but a great outcome in the end,” Moore told the Idaho Statesman. “Going into it, you felt very comfortable and confident that you’d get an opportunity to get drafted. Bottom line is it didn’t happen. But it’s kind of funny you end up where you’d love to go in the first place.”
Moore, who will try to latch on as the Lions’ No. 3 quarterback behind starter Matthew Stafford and backup Shaun Hill, finished his stellar college career with 14,667 passing yards and 142 touchdown passes, ranking among the top quarterbacks in college football history.
But after seeing Boise State team miss out on prime bowl bids year after year despite a 50-3 record during his tenure, Moore suffered a similar fate in the draft. In the end, he chose the Lions after also receiving offers from San Diego, St. Louis and Atlanta.
At 6-feet and 197 pounds, many scouts considered him too small to play the position in the NFL, and doubts remain about his arm strength. ESPN.com rated Moore the ninth-best quarterback in the draft (11 were drafted ahead of him) and nearly all of the knocks on him were related to his size.
But the same did not hold true for several of his teammates — the Broncos had a school-record six players picked over the three-day draft.
“(NFL personnel) really feel like certainly at that position there's a minimum cutoff (for measurables) and if you’re not that, they’re not willing to take too much of a chance,” Boise State coach Chris Peterson said. “I do think there are a lot of teams who were extremely intrigued by him and who would have loved to get him on their roster. The Lions are the ones who are extremely fortunate. They’re going to get a real good player.”
Moore may never see the field for Detroit or any other team. Or he may become a serviceable career backup. Or, if given an opportunity, maybe he becomes the next Matt Schaub... or Doug Flutie. And for all the scouts who believe a 6-foot quarterback can’t make it in the NFL, Drew Brees and his sparkling new passing record would beg to differ.
Did Moore deserve to be drafted? And could Detroit — whose starter has had trouble staying healthy in the past — be a good fit for him?
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